Dancing flames, crackling embers and adventure mood – fire bowl and fire basket create romantic campfires in your own garden. However, there are a few things you should consider when using it.
Fire warms, fascinates and mostly becomes the focus of the outdoor event. If we use a fire bowl, the popular campfire atmosphere quickly emerges. Our ancestors already appreciated the advantages of the mobile fireplaces: Already the nomadic people used fire bowls and they were part of the household goods in many cultures. Ceramic or clay models also served as heat stores. So that the open fire in your own garden does not become a danger, we have to take a few things into account when installing and using it.
Use fire bowl: what are the best materials?
Fire bowls usually consist of heat-resistant metal such as steel, stainless steel or cast iron and are round or oval in shape. Ceramics and clay are rarely used for fire bowls today and are only suitable to a limited extent: pottery does not withstand the intense heat that can result from burning wood, even if it stores heat well. Fire baskets are almost always made of steel.
Overview of advantages and disadvantages
Steel is inexpensive, but it rusts quickly
Stainless steel is rustproof, easy to care for, but more expensive
both are also suitable for use in winter
Clay and ceramics cannot withstand frost and may be sensitive to heat
Permission to use a fire bowl?
The commercially available fire bowls and fire baskets with a diameter of up to one meter do not require approval – the fire bowl is then considered a so-called “warmth or cozy fire”. Warning: fines can be imposed if the device is not used properly. To prevent the neighbors from being bothered, open wood fires may only be lit occasionally. Ideally, inform your neighbors in good time – or invite them. Tenants must first ask their landlord for permission.
Set up the fire bowl correctly
Fire bowls and fire baskets may only be used outdoors and without a roof. The surface must be flat, stable and fire-proof, for example stone, sand or tile floors. Fire baskets are usually supplied with a base made of refractory material, as embers can fall out of the basket. If you want to prevent this, choose a model with a close-meshed wire insert. It is also important to have a sufficient distance between the fire bowl and the floor so that there is no heat build-up.
A spark protection hood made of close-meshed wire mesh helps to contain the flying sparks from the fire bowl. It is essential to keep a sufficient distance from buildings and flammable materials to avoid the risk of fire from heat or sparks. The responsible regulatory office or the municipality will inform you about the valid intervals. In Bavaria, for example, there is a distance of five meters from buildings and at least 100 meters from easily flammable substances such as hay, paper or forest land for open fires.
The right fuel for the fire bowl
As with fireplaces, the only permitted fuel is dry, natural wood such as logs and short branches. The lower the resin content, the less sparks. Even compacts made of natural wood can be used in a fire bowl. Layer wood or compacts as flat as possible so that nothing falls out of the fire bowl. Waste incineration (including wood or garden waste) is generally prohibited. Use only coal or grill lighters for lighting. All types of fire accelerators (petrol, alcohol etc.) are prohibited due to the risk of explosion.
Use the fire bowl in accordance with the regulations
In order not to endanger anyone or to bother you with smoke, you should note the following rules in addition to the manufacturer’s instructions when using fire bowls and baskets:
Never leave a burning fire unattended, even if the embers only glow slightly!
In the event of drought or strong wind, wood fires must not be lit (ask the local fire department if in doubt).
Always have extinguishing agents (water, sand or fire extinguishers) ready.
If there is a lot of smoke or soot or sparks, extinguish the fire immediately.
Pay special attention to children and pets and keep them away from fire.
That costs fire bowls and accessories
Simple fire bowls and baskets made of metal are available from around $ 35, design models with special alloys can also cost over $ 1,000. Many models can be retrofitted with suitable grill grates and attachments. These are available with brackets from around 30 dollars.
Caring for fire bowls and fire baskets properly
Once the ashes have cooled completely, they can be disposed of in the residual waste with the ash scoop. Then simply wipe metal and iron bowls with kitchen paper. The most important thing is protection from moisture. Because even with stainless steel trays, individual parts such as the handles can be made of other materials and rust. If you don’t have a shelter, cover your fireplace with a tarp in the rain. Clay or terracotta bowls must be kept in a dry, frost-free place during the cold season.